How I Get All My Audiobooks for Free

Free Audiobook Apps | Rourke Planners

Did you know that in addition to Valentine's Day, February 14th is also Library Lovers Day? I've loved the library since College -  the long hours (and overnighters) spent there, wandering around the stacks of musty books, and the basement with the movable shelves filled with old periodicals and you were always afraid while you were looking at them someone would try to smoosh you between 2 shelves... just me?

Well anyway, I still love the library and go there regularly. But now I tend to get my learnin' done through audiobooks. I love audiobooks. I haven't been a big reader since college (reading 15+ books a semester will do that to you), though I'm working on it. I have a bunch of books on my phone so I can take them with me on walks and in the car. I know everyone loves Audible, but it turns out that's not as cheap as you'd think. So I use 2 apps: Hoopla and Overdrive. These apps are connected through my library membership (thanks, Chicago public library), so I'm able to rent whatever books my library has 'purchased' fo free! 

Note: this is not at all affiliated with Hoopla or Overdrive, I just really love the apps and wanted to share this info with others. Audiobooks = learning and less clutter than books. Win-win.

Hoopla is very user friendly. You sign with an email and password, then connect your library card number + pin. You can access it via app and website. You can borrow audiobooks, movies, music, comics, ebooks, and tv shows without having to wait for any 'copies' to become available. The really cool thing with hoopla is that you can stream any of the videos to your receiver of choice (i.e. Chomecast, Roku, etc.). So you can have a totally free movie night on your TV. But back to the audiobooks, you can borrow multiple titles at once and download them to save data. One weird thing I've noticed is even if it is downloaded you cannot turn off your data on your phone and play the audiobook - it will freeze. On the app you can favorite titles and they will show under the 'Favorites' tab. Sadly you can't categorize your favorites, but it is separated by type (TV, ebooks, audiobooks, etc.) Overall I love this app and it has made my errands so much more educational.

Overdrive is the other app offered by my library. It is not quite as user friendly but it seems to have a wider range of audiobooks and ebooks. Once again you create an account and then link it to your library card # + pin. The major difference between Overdrive and Hoopla is that Overdrive allows a select number of copies for your library, so you may need to put titles on 'hold' and wait for a copy to become available before you can stream it. Once you open the app you're brought to the 'bookshelf' page. To browse and borrow, you must click 'Add a Title', and you'll be brought to your library's page. From there you can search, browse, place an item in your 'wishlist', borrow or place on hold. Under 'My Account' you'll find your wish list, holds, loans, etc. Once you borrow a title it will be placed under your 'loans'. In order to access the title, you have to listen through that page or (my preferred), click 'add to app', at which point it will move to that first page and you can download parts or all of the book. Again you can download multiple titles at once.

So that's how I get audiobooks for free! It's not every title under the sun, but it's free and easy to use, so I'm quite happy. Do you prefer physical books or audiobooks? What cool thing does your library offer? Let me know below!